By Fred Persinger II for

Class A No. 6 Fayetteville (5-1) at No. 5 Midland Trail (7-0)

The Battle for the Bridge, which features Fayetteville and Midland Trail, is always a great matchup – no matter what the records are between the two teams.

But this year there is a lot more at stake, and for a lot of different reasons. From consolidation, to the fact that both teams are a combined 12-1 and ranked in the Top 10 in Class A.  Whichever team wins this matchup pretty much locks up a playoff spot.

Both teams have done a good job on the offensive side of the ball – especially on the ground. Midland Trail is averaging over 320 yards rushing per game, while Fayetteville is averaging over 230 yards per game. So, both defenses will be tested.

Fayetteville is led on the ground by Jordan Dempsey who has rushed for over 700 yards on the season and scored 13 times on the ground.

“We have a great coaching staff and our line has done a great job for us this year,” Dempsey said. “We’ve had multiple backs in the mix every game and I think the strength of our team has been our line and how well they’ve done for us.”

For Midland Trail, it is the running of Thomas Ferris that has led the Patriots. He has close to 1,200 yards rushing overall on the year. Midland Trail is averaging 39 points per game, while the defense is only giving up 11 points per game.

“Midland Trail has a great line with some great backs,” Dempsey said. “It’s really going to be tough to stop them. But with the game plan we have, I think we’ll be able to hopefully get a few stops. If we can get some stops and our offense keeps rolling, that is what can set us apart.”

Fayetteville is averaging 29 points per game, while Midland Tail is holding opponents to an average of 20 points per contest.

In what could be one of the final time these two rivals play because of consolidation in Fayette County, this matchup could not be any bigger.

“There will be a lot of people there,” Dempsey said. “It’s a big rival and the stage doesn’t get any higher.”

Kickoff is set for 7:30 p.m. on Friday night.


Beckley (1-6) at No. 5 Capital (4-2)

Once again the Beckley Flying Eagles went on the road last week as the turnover bug popped up.

The Flying Eagles turned the ball over 4 more times in route to a 34-8 loss to Parkersburg. More bad news hit the Beckley team this week as junior Micah Hancock injured his leg on a defensive play and had surgery that will put him out for the rest of the season.

Also, for the first time this year, Beckley was unable to get a back to go over the 100 yard rushing mark in the game. Senior Tyree Swafford led the way with only 57 yards rushing.

This week, the Flying Eagles are on the road for the third straight week and the competition keeps getting tougher as the Capital Cougars are the opponent. Capital 4-2 on the season,  right in the middle of the Class AAA playoff race.

The Cougars are coming off an impressive 34-16 win over Hurricane from a week ago. Capital quarterback Kerry Martin had a very balanced night as he threw for 137 yards and rushed for 96 yards in the win.

Capital holds an 18-6 advantage over Beckley in the previous 24 meetings. The Flying Eagles have not defeated Capital since 2011.

Kickoff is set for 7:30 p.m. from Charleston and you can listen to the game on The Big Dawg 99.5 WJLS online at and on the iheart radio app.



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